Love Field Environmental Advisory Committee
FoBL attended the Love Field Environmental Advisory Committee meeting as well as the quarterly Good Neighbor Program gathering earlier this month. We'll get you caught up on the environmental part first. The meeting had good representation by neighborhoods to the east and south of the airport, less so by neighborhoods to the north and west of the airport. Hey, Bachman community, we're looking at you!
While the environmental committee deals with matters of noise, waste and wildlife, the meeting was heavily focused on noise, especially considering the upcoming airport projects that could send more aircraft over certain neighborhoods for several months as runway reconstruction begins on the Denton Avenue side in late 2020, early 2021 with all airport upgrade and construction activity completed in 2022. Once the runway closure begins, it will be at least nine months before it reopens, depending on weather, according to Love Field representatives.
With respect to noise, a new sensor will be added to the existing ones at Bachman Lake Park which will help identify the flight(s) flying too low or during unapproved times. Love Field has a voluntary noise abatement program in which aircraft weighing over 12,500 lbs are asked to use the Denton Avenue runway (13R-31L), known as the "preferential runway," between the hours of 9:00PM and 6:00AM. This doesn't always happen, however. Airline schedule irregularities, emergencies and air traffic decisions sometimes result in a breach of the "quiet hours" protocol.
In order to address citizen concerns, the airport has created an online Noise Lab which features useful information on flight tracking, noise profiles and even a way to file a noise complaint directly from the site. The Love Field Airport website itself is currently undergoing a redesign that should make information easier to access. But what about the residents most affected by the airplane noise?
FoBL asked about the surrounding buildings and apartment dwellers. It appears that sometime in the 1970s, federal money was made available to soundproof some public buildings, particularly schools, under the flight path of aircraft. We're still trying to find out if such a program still exists or what might be available today to achieve the same result, even for residents. We've asked Love Field to report back whether other public facilities such as Public Libraries and Recreation Centers should have the same noise analysis and remediation as was done decades ago.
On a positive note, aircraft today are indeed quieter than they were in the 1970s. However, one of the quietest aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX, remains grounded over safety concerns so residents might still have a while to wait.